Wallabies captain Stephen Moore says Tolu Latu deserves his Test chance, after an impressive month in the national environment.
A run of impressive performances for the NSW Country Eagles saw Latu bolt into the national squad ahead of last month’s Tests against Pretoria and London, with injured hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau ruled out.
Another injury to James Hanson in training this week gave Latu his chance for an elevation into the Wallabies 23 and Moore said he had proven he warranted an opportunity.
“He's been outstanding, he's come into the squad and he played very well in the NRC,” he said.
“I think that's a great advertisement for that competition that a player's come through that pathway and been selected in the Wallabies squad and now he's got his chance to play his first Test, it's very exciting for him and he's been great out there all week.”
Moore said the 23-year-old had shown a thirst to learn, and praised all of the next generation players who have come into the team this year.
“I think his set piece is very strong, which will be well-suited at this level. I think he's shown that for the Waratahs and he's been really keen to learn,” he said.
“He's been getting stuck in at training and all the things that all the young players have been doing really well.
“I think he's really deserved his opportunity now to go out there and pull that jersey on for the first time.”
Latu’s late-season surge saw him leapfrog Queensland hooker Andrew Ready, who was impressive through the Super Rugby season.
Ready is currently in London with the Barbarians, set to take on South Africa this weekend and Moore said there was certainly some future tal
"He's a guy who has been part of the squad already this year in some of our camps," he said.
“He's had a very strong Super Rugby season as well and is another guy who has played very well in NRC.
“There's some depth there."